Virgin Radio Lebanon recently organized a local Battle of the Bands in an effort to support local talents. The competition wasn’t a huge success attendance wise despite the free entrance, the main reason being that Virgin Radio plays commercial “radio music”, a style which few local bands/artists actually play.
“It’s just for fun” was the reaction I got from experienced musicians I talked to at Dunes Verdun on the competition finale this past Wednesday after asking them about this so called Battle. In the end, it turned out to be more like a pillow fight than an actual battle. There was a mediocre level of musicianship and originality displayed by the majority of the finalists, a level which does not even surpass the audience’s musical knowledge – you know, the “I know Rihanna’s latest radio hit” kind of music fans.
Howerver, it’s only fair to say that acts like “The Banana Cognacs” and “Happy Faces” showed superior experience and music maturity than other participants, but yet failed to acquire sufficient crowd and jury support from a quick one-song performance.
The only Metal band who played on the Finals rocked a “Fear of The Dark / Fade to Black” medley to the ears of an audience whose idea of Rock music is Justin Beiber wearing tight black jeans (the Rockstar). And seriously guys, out of all the covers in the world… Either way, this competition wasn’t gonna be won by any Metal band, regardless of their skills or performance – this was just not a Metal Battle.
There were some good vocal performances through the night, and for Virgin Radio, that’s all that matters – that singer/songwriter who can sing a radio friendly tune – this was the criterion for the to-be winner. After the audience voting which was set at 50% of the total votes (that’s just too much power for the crowd who will vote for their friends even if they sucked), the votes were in and… Nour Yammouni won the “Battle”!
So was this battle Legit or Fail? Well I think that Virgin Radio Lebanon’s “Battle of the Bands” was Fail.